Peter Beinart, Zionist Pioneer

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva and author of the book Choosing Life in Israel. 


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At least Peter Beinart is original. In his recent New York Times op-ed and his new book The Crisis of Zionism, the American Jewish pundit and author calls for a new form of Zionist activity. As he says in the op-ed, “call it Zionist B.D.S.” Since BDS stands for “boycott, divestment, and sanctions” directed at Israel, for short we can call Beinart’s new type of Zionism “boycott Zionism.”

Historically, the three main streams of Zionism were Labor (socialist), Revisionist (nationalist), and Mizrachi (religious) Zionism. Zionists belonging to these streams (and others, or no particular stream at all) engaged in activities like: coming to live in Israel, settling it including particularly dangerous areas, serving in its security forces, smuggling arms, smuggling refugees, and so on. Israelis today, of course, continue to live in Israel, settle it including particularly dangerous areas, and serve in its security forces; fortunately, because it’s now an established state, they need no longer smuggle in arms or refugees.

But boycott Zionists don’t have to do any of those things. Indeed, boycott Zionism need not be an activity at all; all one need do to be a boycott Zionist in, say, New York City (where Peter Beinart lives) is see an Israeli product on a shelf and not buy it. Thus, so long as the nonbuying is intentional and not just accidental, just about anyone can be a Zionist now—that is, anyone who lives anywhere that Israeli products are sold, which is a lot of places.

By now, readers familiar with Beinart’s position will be objecting that he doesn’t advocate boycotting all Israeli products, only those produced over the Green Line, in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), or what he calls “nondemocratic Israel.” But what if, say, an Israeli company within the Green Line, in pre-1967 Israel, incorporates in its products parts that were produced in Judea and Samaria? Beinart is aware of the issue and says you shouldn’t boycott such companies, because “boycotting anything inside the green line invites ambiguity about the boycott’s ultimate goal—whether it seeks to end Israel’s occupation [of Judea and Samaria] or Israel’s existence.”

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  • Ra'anana

    to much exposure for this lout, Peter BeinArafat, he ain't worth the time to respond., annul him!

  • montlasky

    The man is misguided . Yet he seems to appeal to NEWSWEEK who just purchased his "The Daily Beast" operation. This obviously shows that NEWSWEEK is now becoming an anti Israel rag and anti Semitic.
    So Beinart mixes in high journalistic company and adds his 2Cents worth to the …."enablers of anti Semitism"
    It's time NEWSWEEK started printing articles by Gilad Atzmon. They have already prepared the way by startng to associate with the likes of Beinart.

    • SBRTNCB

      Motalasky,

      Peter Beinart and his ik are beyond misguided;

      Beinart chose to acquiesce to a false narrative created by Israel enemy. I heard him speak.

      Many of Beinart's assertions are unfounded and running against factual evidence. The Beinart screeds produce as exude Orwellian-ism, New-speaks. In short the BeinArafat, "Beinartians", are nothing short of delusional, sick.

      Read here:

  • Schlomotion

    I have read many Zionist works where the authors lament the dwindling of Jewish populations in as far flung places as Cuba, Turkey, Libya, Broward County Florida, Curacao, Warsaw, Romania, Bahrain, and of all places, Calcutta! They all have this same pathetic tone like these are the last Siberian Tigers, Panda Bears, or Angolan Fruit Bats. Give me a break. Now I have to feel bad that Egyptians 6500 miles away won't sell an embassy building to Israelis because they know Israelis will use it to launch Mossad attacks. This, I suppose directly forces Israelis into extinction too? I am supposed to shake Peter Beinart by the lapels and force him to buy overpriced cottage cheese?

    • Ghostwriter

      Somehow,I'm not shocked at your disgusting post,Schlomotion. You have all the decency of Heinrich Himmler,which is very little.

      • Schlomotion

        Shhhh. Don't speak too critically. It might cause a die-off.

  • Raymond in DC

    Aside from giving aid and comfort to Israel's enemies, Beinart's BDS-lite will only result in throwing more Palestinians out of work, as thousands are employed by Israeli-owned businesses over the Green Line, or market their produce through Israeli firms.

  • maria

    Israel is only democracy in ME. His army by prominent military specialists consider as the most moral. Israel's Palestinians night dream that they can be deprived by Israel's citizenship. Israel's fault is its existence for Muslim world and Leftists. That is. It is OK for Leftists that 100000 Christians are killing each year by Muslims. It is OK for them that there is no Churches or Temples for non Muslims in Saudi Arabia and Jews can not go there at all. It is OK for those villains-Leftists what ever nationality or religion they are that Muslims women are Muslims men property and in name of honor killing their own fathers or brothers rape Muslim's women and kill them in all Muslims countries. Shame of you all Leftists/socialists …but they have no shame or morality.